Fourteen killed in three Iraqi attacks

Image caption, Many of those injured in Tuz Khormato were women and children

At least fourteen people have been killed in three separate attacks in Iraq.

Gunmen ambushed an army vehicle close to the Syrian border on Friday evening, killing seven Iraqi troops.

Meanwhile, car bombs in two Iraqi cities north of Baghdad left seven people dead, and wounded 80 others, police said.

There has been simmering unrest in Iraq since the general election in March produced no outright winner.

A deal between the various parties to form a government and choose a prime minister has not been reached and may still take weeks of negotiations, analysts say.

Ambush attack

A group of insurgents attacked an army vehicle at a checkpoint near the Anbar province town of Qaim, close to the Syrian border, officials said.

"Two minibuses loaded with gunmen ambushed an army humvee in the main street in Akashat," a military spokesman for the western province of Al-Anbar told AFP.

A further soldier was shot several times but survived, with officials saying the attackers left him alive "to convey a message to the Iraqi army," according to AP news agency.

Earlier on Friday, a car bomb went off in the northern town of Tuz Khormato, outside the home of a Shia Turkmen councillor in the mainly Sunni province, police said. Seven people were killed.

The blast severely damaged several houses, including the councillor's, but it was unclear whether he was among the casualties. Police blamed al-Qaeda for the attack.

Many of those injured were women and children.

A second car bomb was found near the blast site, but it was defused, reports said.


Earlier, a bomb targeted the home of a police captain in the town of Baquba, in Diyala province, injuring 32 people - 20 of them women and children.

The police officer himself escaped injury as he was at the mosque for Friday prayers, but members of his family were injured.

Baquba is the ethnically mixed capital of Diyala province, which has become one of the bastions of al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Elsewhere, an Iraqi interpreter for the US military was shot dead.

Hameed al-Daraji was killed on Friday by his own son and nephew in Samarra, north of Baghdad, after he refused their demands to quit his job, a police official said.

Mr Daraji's son and nephew were arrested after the attack.